New Blog, new endeavor

Hi friends! I have moved over to a new blog: Crafting Things New. Hope to see you there and thanks for reading!

Don’t lie

You know if you have a little rascal or two or more your living room looks like this all the time once in a while:
number living room

And there usually are explanations for every out of place thing. Really.

1- Art stool on top of the couch- why? Because my 15 month old was using it as a stepping stool to climb the end tables that particular day

2- The coffee table in front of the (still unused) fireplace. A few reasons for this one- we haven’t yet figured out if we want to use the fireplace as woodburning or get a gas insert; we don’t have time/ money to fix it up enough to use it; there’s no room for a coffee table AND play area; and to keep the baby from crawling into the fireplace and eating creosote getting dirty.

3- Dumped out toy chest and 15 month old laying on top of toys. To occupy him long enough so his big sister and I can make some crafts once in a while.

4- Couch covered with laundry baskets, blankets, and tutus. I dunno.

5- Laundry to be folded. Oh wait, this explains #4.

6- Tissues restuffed into the box. You know your toddler rips ’em out of the box too!!!

You know it’s true. Admit it. Join the club. We’re waiting for you…

Advertisement

nap prisoner

On days like today, I feel like saying “I’m never going ANYWHERE EVER AGAIN” to ensure the predictability of my kids’ naps, which in turn ensures the predictability of me being able to actually finish the laundry, sanitize all that the sticky hands have soiled, pay the bills, and maybe, just maaaybe take a break. In other words, preserving the nap preserves this mama’s sanity.

I am happy to be a nap prisoner.

As I write, number 2 is wailing away because he doesn’t want to nap, even though he’s tired. The problem is he woke up earlier than usual and the drive to pick up number 1 from preschool put him out for a good fifteen minutes. I didn’t rip him out of his carseat immediately upon arrival, like I usually do along with most every other mom there with a toddler, and it is costing me DEARLY this afternoon!!! Those extra five minutes in the parking lot did me in. Up and down the stairs for the past hour and a half. Diaper changes, new story, bottle, hurricane gel, the works. Ugh.

Ohh.. Wait… silence! At last! Gotta run!

Upcycling

This was my husband’s shirt.

014

It’s a little, um, Whoa Polkadot Polyester, and despite his affinity to it’s vintage awesomeness, he generously donated it to my upcycling project 2.0.

What’s upcycling? It’s a newfangled word I just learned! It’s when you take something old/ no longer useful/ unwanted and change it up to make something  of better value/ use/ quality.

I upcycled Keith’s shirt into a dress for my daughter, thanks to a fabulous tutorial from Made. Yes, I am a big fan of Made.

polka dot clothes 002 edited

I opted to make it 3/4 sleeves and just moved the button holes to make the sleeves fit and puff a bit. I had some extra satin blanket binding left over from another project so I used that for the waistband.

polka dot clothes 003

Of course I couldn’t let the leftover scraps go to waste, so I made a wee bow tie for the little man.

polka dot clothes 005 edited

Adorable, aren’t they?

New dress, new bow tie, nearly no money spent. I love projects like that.

Where my peeps at?

034

On the front door,

fireplace peeps w notes

On the fireplace next to the 5 remotes and White House 2010 Easter Eggs,

but not in our Easter basket this year 😦

My husband requested that no sugary treats be purchased for him this Easter. (Probably because he didn’t want me to be tempted and then be belly aching that I fell off the eat clean wagon. whattaguy!)

But Peeps are his favorite and we couldn’t let more scrapbook paper go to waste during mommy-daughter craft time, could we?

Wanna make your own? Download the template here. I love the internets.

Making of a Superhero- a tutorial

029

Do you have a little superhero? Want one? All you need are a few simple tools and a few beginner sewing skills.

Materials:

1/2 yard of fabric

Inch of velcro

Scrap fleece

Scrap ribbons, buttons

Step 1- Measure and cut your fabric. About 22 inches wide by 30 inches long will do.

020

Step 2: Make a narrow hem all the way around your cape. Get out your measuring tool and fold over the edge 1/4 inch and press. Fold that over again so that the cut edge is inside of the fold and press again. Do this on all sides of your cape. You can pin this or not, I chose not to because the fabric I used holds a crease really well so pins weren’t necessary.

021

With the right side up, sew all the way around the edge of your cape, using your presser foot as a guide. You can use contrasting thread if you are confident in your stitching, or use a matching color to cover up any slip-ups.
022

Step 3- Add a piece of velcro at the top edges to create and easy-on, easy-off cape. I get a little nervous with things tied around my kids necks, so I use velcro alot, for aprons, baby slings, etc. With velcro your babes won’t be asking you to tie on their cape every time they want to wear it. Yay for independence!

Step 4- Embellish away! Add ribbons, bows, letters, or whatever you want to make this cape your own. This one was a birthday gift for a friend’s little girl, so I used her initial “A” on the back. I used pinking shears to cut out the fleece and straight stitched it onto the back of the cape and added a pink ribbon along the bottom.

023

I used two 3 x 5 inch pieces of fleece to make super-hero cuffs and added a couple buttons to complete the superhero package.

027

Have fun but be forewarned-

030

Superheroes

031

are notoriously

032

difficult

Superhero

to photograph.

Just ask Peter Parker.

An Indoor Kind of Spring Day

Spring apparently did not get the memo. There’s snow on the ground here along the 42nd latitude.

I got this fabulous idea from Dana-Made-It for a butterfly sanctuary. I love her site! Bonus that we share the same name, towhead kids, and an affinity for sewing.
Butterfly sanctuary

My children are not quite as good as coloring/ decorating as Dana-Made-It’s kids, since mine are 1 and 3, so I cut up the stash of scrapbook paper that I have had for 6 years. They can glue!!! I’m never going to start scrapbooking, so I might as well use up all that pretty paper. And let’s be honest, I truly don’t need anymore hobbies!

Everytime we walk through the back hallway, the bright butterflies bring a smile to our face.

We also made a sunflower version of our family.
march 23 005

I cut out petals of yellow, orange and yellow stripes, green stems and leaves, and a few accessories.

march 23 008

We glued them to an orange paper plate I have had sitting in my pantry for years because I keep forgetting I have them at Halloween and Thanksgiving! Didn’t she do a great job keeping with the simple pattern on this one?
march 23 009

Then we glued another orange plate over the petals to make it look all nice and neat and also to make room to personalize our sunflower people.

Sunflower family

We used some sticky wax to hang our little sunflower family up next to the butterflies.

It may be frozen outside, but spring has sprung indoors!

Twirly Whirly

If only I could bank up “mom-you-are-awesome-points”… I would have totally racked up quite a few today.
simplicity 2356

The look on her face and this completely unprompted pose says it all- THIS IS SO AWESOME MOMMY! THANK YOU FOR MY NEW SKIRT!!!

These mom-points, if they could exist, could be traded in for those times when your child is in melt-down mode over the latest catastrophe. We have a lot of those. Ahh… how I wish I could just flip a switch and the tantrum would be over… or whip out a “I made you a really cool skirt yesterday” card and she’d snap out of it….

But I digress.

I was working on the binding this afternoon when a little visitor snuck out of her room during naptime and into the office.

“So, Mom, how is that skirt going along?” she asked sweetly. I told her it wasn’t finished yet, but that it would be very soon. She happily skipped into the living room and kept herself occupied for about 4 minutes before checking in on me again.

“So, Mom, how is everything going? Is it done yet? Do you need anything? What about this?” (holding up a seam ripper) “Do you need this?” She just cracks me up sometimes. Checking in on my progress every few minutes.

simplicity 2356 v 2 signed

Once the skirt was finished, there was simply no postponing the wearing of said skirt. Sweet Pea promptly put it on over her pajamas (yes, she wears pjs for naptime, but that’s another story for another day!) and pranced around the house, twirling, swirling, and singing.

I made her a matching headband too, but I think I’ll modify the pattern to make it thinner next time. The thickness of the headband is a little much for her fine/thin hair. I guess she didn’t inherit my mane, but then again she didn’t inherit my look-at-a-cheeze-it-and-gain-five-pounds metabolism, so I guess it’s better that way!

I used Simplicty 2356, a pattern that I purchased on sale at Joann’s a month or so ago for $1. The fabric was a bit pricier, but I can’t remember exactly how much it cost. Maybe $4-6 a yard? The cute fabrics always cost more. I really need to start keeping track of that sort of thing, especially if I’d like to sell some of my creations! I used about a yard of both the main and contrast fabrics, plus some elastic that I already had on hand. I’d estimate this skirt cost about $8-10 dollars to make in materials. It took me about 2 hours to complete, but I think I could do it in less time if I was making several and made them assembly line style.

Next up is my first recycled clothing project!

Fat- Burning cookies- or so they say :)

My friend Debra has been asking me for this recipe for a loooooong time. Sorry Debra! Here is it- taken from the September 2010 issue of Oxygen Magazine:

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

2 cups whey protein powder

1 tsp baking powder

2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 1/2 cups low fat small curd cottage cheese

1/2 cup honey

1/4 cup canola oil

1 egg

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup rolled oats

1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup walnuts, chopped (I skipped these b/c I’m allergic)

1- Preheat oven to 350.

2- Combine first 4 ingredients in a large bowl and mix well

3- in a separate bowl, combine next 5 ingredients and whisk together with a fork, or use and electric mixer or food processor

4- Add wet ingredients to dry and mix with a fork (or mixer). Mix in oats, chocolate chips (and walnuts if you’re nutty!)

5- Drop by teaspoonful onto an ***oiled or parchment paper lined*** baking sheet. Bake 12 minutes until the cookies are slightlybrown on top. ***THIS IS IMPORTANT! these “cookies” will totally stick to your baking sheet. I use a SILPAT. Same idea as parchement paper. Love it. Worth it’s weight in gold***

Nutrients per serving (w/ the walnuts) 2 cookies: Calories 99; Total fats 3 g; Saturate Fat 1 g; Trans Fat 0 g; Cholesterol 6 mg; Sodium 72 mg; Total Carbohydrates 11 g; Dietary Fiber 2 g; Sugars 5 g, Protein 7 g

I love these cookies! You won’t feel deprived with the chocolate chips in there. I made them for my table at MOPS today. I don’t know if these actually burn fat, but that’s what they’re called! I definitely feel full and stay full after eating these.

Here’s a little blurb from the magazine about them:

Staying slim requires eating satifying snacks that keep your hunger pains at bay. Key ingredients in these cookies include: cinnamon to keep your blood sugar in check, slow digesting prottein from cottage cheese paired with faster digesting whey protein powder to steadily suppress appetite, whole wheat flour for energy revving b vitamins, oats for their anti-inflammatory polyphenols and beta-glucan, which promote a feeling for fullness that subdues craving.” Only problem is you might crave more of these cookies! But don’t be mastered by your cravings!!!

Oxygen recommends these as a morning or preworkout snack. Yum.

Happy Healthy Eating!

Bisquick? Who needs bisquick?

Yesterday was National Pancake Day, or something like that. So we played our part and went to IHOP for dinner with the kids because EVERYBODY GOT A FREE SHORT STACK!  *

Of course my kids flipped for pancakes, with the big one eating her entire stack plus a quarter of the little one’s. My 14 month old ate almost half of his, which is pretty amazing since we’re coming off his second stomach bug this winter that seems to drastically reduce the foods he is willing to eat again. So now we’re up to cheerios, bananas, blueberries, cheesey eggs, pancakes, and his favorite- asparagus.

This morning I thought that pancakes might be a good option for the kids since they liked them so much last night and I found myself thinking “Wish I had some bisquick or some healthy bisquick alternative to just mix in a lil milk and have pancakes galore in no time at all!”

I racked my brain, my cookbooks, and my pantry and came up with this breakfast baking mix:

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour

1/2 cup unbleached white flour

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp baking soda

2 tsp baking powder

1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Mix all these together and store in an airtight container.

I took a cup of this mix, added a tablespoon of flax seed, a half tablespoon of both oil and maple syrup (the real kind, not the 2% maple syrup 98% corn syrup!) and somewhere around 3/4 c milk. I mixed it all together for a healthier pancake for the kids! It made about a dozen kid-sized pancakes.

Breakfast success!!! Took a little time today, but next time I’ll already have my own healthy mix ready!

*In keeping with my clean eating deal, I ordered an egg white veggie omlete w/ no cheese. No fun, I know, but those white fluffy pancakes would’ve sent me spiraling into sugar self destruction. Keith was happy to eat mine and to point out that my meal cost $10 while the rest of the family’s was free! Not complaining, just observing he said. LOL.